‘Only when your mind is free from feverishness, can His will be done’
Bangalore (India), May 28:
Q. What is the purpose of life?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is a very precious question. One who knows will not give you an answer, and the one who answers, does not know. However, if you want to reach that answer, think about this: When you die, two questions will be asked.
· How much knowledge have you gained?
· How much love have you given? How much have you loved Planet Earth and people?
Q. What is our duty as citizens during non-election times? We know so much of rigging has happened during the elections. What do we do now?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: We have to play the role of a responsible citizen. You must speak up when you see some wrong happening.
The second thing is that there are good people in every party. Don’t say all good people are in one party and all bad people are in the other. It is not the party, but the people that matter - if they are criminals and are doing wrong, they should not be given a ticket.
So don’t think one party is better - it is people who make a difference.
Q. Why does the Divine love us?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is good to ask this question. When we demand love, we destroy love. When we feel that we have been loved by people in abundance, then we will see that we have also grown in abundance.
Q. If I realize today that I had made a mistake in the past, what should I do about it?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Whatever you have done in the past is over. Don’t worry about it now. You are innocent in the present moment. Have faith in the innocence of the present moment.
There is an old belief – ‘If you bathe in the Ganges and chant God’s name, then all your sins will be washed away’. This means that you need to be in the present moment. However, don’t keep repeating the same mistake!
Q. Do our prayers reach the Divine? Many times they don’t get fulfilled. Why?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Sometimes, aren’t you happy that all your desires don’t get fulfilled? Your wants keep changing. When your mind is not steady, your desires keep changing. You want something today, and tomorrow you desire something else. See how many desires come up in your mind. If all of them are fulfilled, you would be miserable.
Q. What is the difference between my will and God’s will?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When every will is His, every mind is His, then where is your existence? Everything is God’s will. The moment you differentiate between mine and His, there are two.
When your mind is clear, then sit and think. Only when your mind is free from feverishness, can His will be done.
Q. In whichever field we go, there is always someone who is better than us – this creates an inferiority complex. How do we cope with it?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t look at others. Always look at yourself and stop comparing. If you compare then there is no end. At every level, this can go on. We should only compare with our own self. What was I two years ago, and what am I now?
Q. Should one follow the heart or the head?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A combination of both.
Q. Does God exist?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Only God exists. But to realize that takes energy, time and commitment.
Q. Can love be selfish and, if it is selfish then is it love?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The Self is love.
Q. Is winning in elections also karma?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Sometimes, people win by wrong means, and think that they are enjoying the fruits of their actions. Whatever work is done by wrong means, the result will become momentary. Satyameva jayate- in the end truth will only triumph. If adharma (unrighteousness) has an upper hand for some time, we have to have patience. Fight with skill – not by burning buses, or vehicles. Fight adharma with awareness, not in the sway of emotions.
Those who have won in the elections should be humble. They should not insult the ones who have lost. The ones who have lost should not lose their self-esteem. Read the Bhagvad Gita. The Gita says that winning and losing is the same. This is just a game. In life sometimes you win, other times you lose.
Don’t become sad if you lose. If you lost, so what! What’s the use of getting dejected? If someone has used wrong means to win, you must speak up, do whatever is possible by law, go to the higher authorities. Surrender your wins and losses to the Divine.
However, remember every position has been given to you for service only. Both are opportunities to do service. Remember, Mahatma Gandhi was not the head of the nation but he was called ‘The Father of the nation.’
There is no such thing as big seva (service) or small seva. The fruits of both are the same. Do service as much as you are capable of. Put all your energy into it. Whatever service you do within your capabilities will bear good result. The feeling, the intention behind every seva is important.
Q. How to control HIV?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The awareness campaigns have already brought HIV under some control. Education is the only way you can stop it. Medical education as well as spiritual education has to be emphasized. Pranayama, breathing exercises, learning about the breath and meditation can arrest promiscuous tendencies to a great extent.
Q. What is more important - faith in ourselves or faith in others?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Both are necessary. However, add one more. That is, faith in God.
(From the office of HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Bangalore, India)
© The Art of Living Foundation